The Catholic Politician

British historian who has been professor of politieal science at Cambridge University since 1939, D. W. BROGAN in 1933 began publishing the first of his witty, sound, and observant volumes on American democracy. He is regarded today as the most distinguished interpreter of American life to British readers.

THE United States is a Protestant country. This will seem to most Americans something so obvious as not to be worth stating. But it is worth stating because the official theory of the United States is one of complete religious neutrality. Yet in practice this official neutrality means that the United States has a religious bias, and that religious bias is toward some vague, undenominational Protestantism.

Arthur M. Schlesinger, Sr., has said that antiCatholicism is the oldest and most permanent of American prejudices. There are historical reasons for this, and they greatly affect the position of the Catholic politician. Whether the average American Protestant likes it or not, or is conscious of it or not, he regards the Catholic officeholder, in any serious office, as an anomaly. True, the United States is committed officially to the view that all denominations are created equal, but I think it is impossible for an observant foreigner to move around the United States, as I have been doing for nearly forty years, and not realize that this formal equality conceals a real inequality. An American who belongs to any of the Protestant denominations is accepted as being automatically a suitable candidate for high office. No Catholic is. President Kennedy may have broken this tradition, but a great deal of the respect and admiration he has won is rather like the admiration Dr. Johnson commented on when he spoke of women preaching: it is based on surprise that a Catholic can be President of the United States without immediately revealing his subservience to a foreign priesthood.

There is, of course, something absurd in this gratified surprise. In the Western alliance, of which the United States is the leader, nearly all the effective heads of state from General de Gaulle and Dr. Adenauer downward are Catholics. Only England has a Protestant chief (I mean the Prime Minister, not the Queen, who is, of course, Protestant by statutory definition under the Act ol Settlement). And in none of these countries, not even in England, is the notion of the Catholic ruler as extraordinary as it is in the United States, for all of them have visible and, historically speaking, recent Catholic pasts. Even in my native land, Scotland, the Catholic past is not very remote in time and is visible in many ways. To give an example, the eminently Presbyterian University of Glasgow still confers its degrees by apostolic authority, and when it celebrated its five-hundredth anniversary ten years ago, its first act was to send a Latin address to the heir of its founder, the Pope. And at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II a large number of the great ceremonial offices were held by Catholics who had a hereditary right to take part in this once Catholic ceremony. These historical relics do not necessarily mean that there is not a great deal of anti-Catholic feeling, and in Catholic countries like France and Italy a great deal of anticlerical feeling and outright hostility toward the Catholic Church. But the Church is there. It always has been there. It always will be.

In the United States it is very different. The United States was made by Protestants and cast in a Protestant mold. The founders and the major part of the population had a lively hatred of Catholicism. It does not. matter whether Benjamin Franklin was right in believing; that his ancestors had nearly been victims of Bloody Mary in England. The important point is that he did believe it. The so-called Scotch-Irish, the Ulster Presbyterians, hated the Pope as much as they hated the King of England. Many of the early German settlers, like the Palatines and the Salzburgers, were genuine victims of Catholic intolerance in Germany. And when the United States framed its Constitution and got its character, the Catholic Church was seen not only as hostile to the principles of free inquiry, of Protestant private judgment, but as a dying institution. It was treated with contumely by “Catholic” sovereigns like the Emperor Joseph II, and two Popes were taken captive by the triumphant and anticlerical French. To men like Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, both enemies of the “priests” (by which they meant the Protestant clergy), the thought of a Catholic President would have been not so much odious as absurd. And I am convinced that this feeling of absurdity is an important part of the American makeup today. Of course, there are lots of Catholics in the United States, but they are meant to be hewers of wood and drawers of water, certainly not the rulers, even the elected rulers, of their betters. So any Catholic officeholder, from dogcateller up, has two strikes against him: he will be regarded with automatic suspicion by the Protestant majority and regarded with another kind of suspicion by the Catholic minority. He will have to walk delicately between the two suspicious groups.

THE Catholic Church in America is a church of immigrants, and its great expansion from almost nothing came in the nineteenth century and continued until World War I. The two great immigrant waves of Irish and Germans were followed by lesser but very important invasions of Italians, Poles, south Slavs, Bohemians, and the like. And all of these came into a country which was only formally prepared to receive them. Of these groups, by far the most important was the Irish. They were probably not much more numerous than the Germans, if they were more numerous; but they were politically far more talented, and they set the role for the Catholic Church in American public life. They were politically more talented than the Germans, although less literate, because they came from a country which, though it had many just claims to being called “the most distressful,” was fantastically badly governed under parliamentary forms. The Irish Catholic immigrants knew by experience at home what elections were and what party organization was. In Daniel O’Connell they had had one of the greatest democratic leaders of the nineteenth century, and they brought to the United States political experience which made them very quickly an important political force.

But it was a political experience of a distorting type. They had no reason to like the political organization from which they had fled, and they very soon discovered in America a degree of hostility which seemed familiar to them. If the burning of the Charlestown convent and the Philadelphia riots are still alive in the memory of American Catholics of Irish origin, it is because they are linked in ancestral memory with much more odious happenings in Ireland, with the whole history of the Penal Laws. Even if Protestant America had given a more cordial welcome, these Catholics would have been suspicious with a suspicion bred by centuries of disastrous experience. In fact, they had living and more recent memories of religious persecution than had the New Englanders or the Scotch-Irish.

An American Catholic, especially if he is of Irish origin, is bound to receive with irony many of the protestations of devotion to religious freedom, many of the declarations of hostility to religious persecution, with which the American Protestant is so lavish. A man of great independence of character like John Jay Chapman could, in all innocence, preach to the Irish slum dwellers of New York a kind of political antiCatholicism based not only on liberal theory but on ancestral Huguenot memories with no consciousness of how absurd his preaching seemed to the Irish Catholics of Manhattan. They had had their own revocation of the Edict of Nantes, the breach of the Treaty of Limerick, of which it is likely John Jay Chapman knew nothing and his hostile audiences knew only a passionate but not seriously wrong historical version.

As I have said, the tone of American Catholicism in its political aspect was set by the Irish. And by the historical experience of the Irish, their priests were leaders in politics, as in everything else, to a degree unknown to any other country in Europe. In the two great civil wars of the seventeenth century in Ireland, summed up for the Irish Catholic in the names of Oliver Cromwell and William III, the old Catholic aristocracy was almost entirely swept away. The Catholic middle class almost disappeared, or survived, as did the families of Edmund Burke and General Wolfe and of John and James Sullivan of New Hampshire and Massachusetts, by turning Protestant. Only the priests were left as leaders. The British government recognized this, and after it abandoned hopes of converting the “mere” Irish to Protestantism, it used the Catholic bishops and priests as an instrument of government. The great seminary of Maynooth was established by the British government to produce a loyal and useful rather than a learned clergy. It did not produce a very loyal clergy; but it bred a habit of political activity, which the Irish priests took to America and which their flocks were prepared to accept.

It is impossible to understand the automatic political activities of a prelate like Cardinal Spellman without remembering the background of the American Catholic clergy. Historically speaking, the American Catholic clergy may have started as children of the great French seminary of St. Sulpice, but they have been for more than a century children of the great Irish seminary, St. Patrick’s College at Maynooth. And the American Catholic politician, whatever his ethnic origin, is sure to have to deal at every stage in his political career with priests and bishops who are children of a system in which a priest had to be a political leader to defend his flock.

It is not surprising that this natural and traditional role should be misunderstood and disliked by American Protestants, and, indeed, by Catholics of a different tradition. The fact remains that, until this century, perhaps until this decade, the American Catholic politician has had to deal with a Church accustomed to a degree of political loyalty unknown in Europe outside Ireland, unknown even in Poland or Bavaria or the southern Netherlands. This, it seems to me, rather than the dogmatic views of the Catholic Church on its role in politics, is the force that keeps alive the traditional American suspicion of Rome. It is less “that old sinner the Pope” than the more visible and noisy prelates of the Irish Catholic tradition who explain, if they do not justify, the pathological anti-Catholicism of so many Americans. But of course there is a rational and defensible suspicion of political Catholicism which goes far beyond the experience of Irish Catholics at the hands of Protestants, back to the creation of the Catholic doctrine of church and state personified by great figures like St. Gregory VII and Innocent III and great thinkers like St. Thomas Aquinas.

IF THE political experience of the American Catholics has been formed mainly on Irish traditions, the fact remains that an adjustment between church and state, between the Pope and the secular power, has never been easy, in the Roman Empire or the Holy Roman Empire, under Napoleon or Bismarck, not to speak of Stalin, Hitler, and Mussolini. The United States is committed to a neutral view (at any rate, between Christian denominations); it is committed to denying preference to one denomination rather than to another. God is not in the Constitution, and all religions formally compete on even terms. In this competitive world, as Tocqueville noted, the Catholic Church has done very well for itself, but not on its own terms. As that honest man, the late Monsignor John Ryan, pointed out, the Church has not given up its claims to supremacy, and what toleration is given to Protestants or Jews is given of favor, not of right. True, in most European countries and in the United States, this doctrinal rigidity has little it any political significance. But the difficulty is real if not normally important. The United States is dedicated to a certain set of propositions about the religious role of the state (or the political role of the church), and the Roman Catholic Church is dedicated to a different and, in some instances, opposed set of doctrines. No Pope, certainly not a sagacious Pope like John XXIII, is likely today to insist on making a doctrinal fight, but equally certainly no Pope is likely to make a formal withdrawal of the doctrine of the intrinsic superiority of the Holy See over all competing ecclesiastical authorities, or of its right to assert its own views on great matters, even against the omnicompetent state.

A clash, if a clash there must be, is most likely to come when the Church and the adored national state clash. The possibility of a clash is always there. And so the Catholic politician must move carefully; he may think that the survival of the papal claims of the Middle Ages is simply an archaic nuisance. But he cannot say that these claims are archaic nonsense; he can only act as if they were. And he is always in danger of being pushed into a corner by some dialectician who wants him to harmonize his unconditional allegiance to the United States with the claims of his Church. Put that way, it cannot be done.

But the Protestant voter who is not just out to make debating points, who may have genuine intellectual difficulties compounded of many unrecognized inherited prejudices, is puzzled by the role of the Catholic officeholder. And I think that his first ground of bewilderment and alarm comes from the apparent docility of Catholic politicians in face of the prelates, in face of the undemocratic pretensions of the bishops (the kissing of episcopal rings, for instance) and the role played by a Pope who is always a foreigner. The Catholic politician, it is thought, is not, or not always, a free man. What is whispered to him in the confessional? What attention does he pay to the pronouncements of the bishops? How far is his inind conditioned by an exclusively Catholic education? There is a sense in which a Christian is never free to be just a secular statesman. He may seek answer in prayer or from a pastor, but he cannot put the material well-being of the state before everything else. Nominally Christian statesmen have done so in all ages. But while the Protestant politician wrestles with his conscience alone, or seeks counsel from his pastor, the Catholic politician is a member of a church with a large body of political doctrine, and its rulers are not at all shy about laying down the law.

How much of this laying down of the law does the Catholic politician have to pay attention to? If the Pope speaks ex cathedra, which he very seldom does, the Catholic politician has to believe in the doctrine laid down — but the American voter is not concerned with doctrines like the Assumption. He is concerned with practical issues in which the Catholic politician is thought of as being too docile; with matters like education, birth control, divorce, some delicate problems of medical ethics, some issues of free speech and free publication. Here the leaders of the Catholic Church do set themselves against majority opinion. They may be defending an old Protestant tradition, as in opposing Sunday trading, but they are a pressure group which orders more than it argues, and the people it orders are the Catholic politicians. True, Protestant ministers, in the South especially, may be as dogmatic in laying down the moral law that the state is not enforcing; they may even be laying down the same law as Catholic bishops. But they do not do it. as a rule, so dogmatically, and even if they do. “This is a Protestant country.”

Here again, the Irish background of the dominant tradition in American Catholicism works to the disadvantage of the American Catholic politician. As the late George A. Birmingham, the Irish (Protestant) novelist, pointed out a long time ago, Ireland is one of the few countries in which ecclesiastical leaders have what we now call a captive audience. North and south, Catholics and Protestants listen to what is said by bishops, moderators, and the like. No doubt the really faithful do so in France or Italy, but the number of really faithful there is small. In Ireland, it is nearly the whole population. In England, Anglican bishops, convocations, church congresses issue declarations, pass resolutions, but few think that the mass of the semipagan English population pays much attention. In America the case is altered, for judging by the printing of sermons in the press on Monday mornings, there is still a general market for clerical utterance. But this may be an editorial illusion, and it may be an illusion that even the faithful Catholic accepts the episcopal letter read from the altar or printed in the diocesan newspaper with a complete and docile faith. Yet an American bishop brought up in the Irish tradition may assume that the silent respect with which his letter is received is the same as fervent assent. And so he may be tempted to issue too many statements and utter them in too peremptory a tone. The Protestant voter will not realize with what ironical weariness some of these manifestos are received or how lacking in real force they are.

The Catholic politician may resent the matter and still more the manner of the episcopal declarations, as many Catholics resented the tone of the pastoral letter of the bishops of Puerto Rico in the campaign of 1960. But he will be reluctant to say so. Any public resentment will be used against him. not so much by the bishops or by Protestant rivals as by Catholic rivals who will be anxious to show their zeal and may profit by a show of religious indignation. Above all, the politicians would like the clergy to keep their mouths shut or to stick to safe generalities. A politician’s motives may not be very creditable. If he is in the South, he no more wants an episcopal declaration against segregation than do his Methodist brethren. He may not want to stop Sunday trading (Sunday sellers and buyers are voters).

The clergy are often right, often courageous, often saying something that needs to be said, but from the politician’s point of view, the clergy, especially the Catholic clergy, especially the Catholic clergy bred in the Irish tradition, want the state to promote morality, positively and negatively, more than even the most upright politician (who has to get elected) thinks is practicable or wise. The practicing politician knows too much of human weakness, of the limitations of the law, of the incompetence or the venality of the enforcers of the law to wish to erode the authority of the body politic at any level by too ostentatious enforcement of the moral views of the clergy, any clergy.

After all, the great lesson of wisdom in this held was taught not by or to Catholics but by and to Protestants. Prohibition was the equivalent of Catholic crusades against birth control, and some Catholic politicians have been known to wonder if Cardinal Spellman and his brethren ever ponder the damage done to the Protestant establishment by the follies of the campaign to make America dry. The law could not make America dry. It cannot make it pure, and the effort to do these things may make the last state worse than the first. And again, except in a few areas, the Catholic politician has to remember that “This is a Protestant country.” If the Catholic Church gets the reputation of being Meddlesome Matty, as in many places it has done, the sufferers will be the Catholic politicians — as well as the bishops. And the Irish Church, with its strong Puritan tradition exported to America, has that reputation.

The Catholic politician knows this; he may decide in Boston or Providence to play along. But nationally or even in statewide politics, a politician knows that, even if “smut when smitten is front page stuff,” you can smite too often, particularly if you are a Catholic. For more will be forgiven to a representative of the indigenous tradition of using the secular arm to enforce morality than to a representative of what is still thought of as a largely foreign body.

THIS alienation of the Church, and of the groups which it represents, alters the role of the American Catholic politician. He is not thought of merely as the representative of Bloody Mary or the inquisition or of the Syllabus of Pius IX or of the harassers of Protestants in South America or Spain. He is, or at any rate was. thought of as being no doubt an American citizen, but a secondclass citizen. Possibly, before the great immigrant waves of the nineteenth century, the few Catholics who lived in the United States were treated according to their positions in life; if they were servants, they were treated as servants; if they were great landed magnates like Charles Carroll, they were treated as great landed magnates; if they were great lawyers like Roger Taney, they were accepted as Chief Justice, as Edward Douglass White from the semi-Catholic state of Louisiana was later accepted in that great office. He was, after all, not a “Mick”; he was that much more respectable thing, a former Confederate officer. Something of the same acceptance of the old Catholic families could and can be seen in New Mexico. Senator Dennis Chavez of Los Chavez is not just a Catholic politician; he is “Chavez of that ilk,” as they say in Scotland.

Now, there was some justification for the snooty attitude of old American stocks to the political ambitions of the newcomers. Ireland and. still more, Sicily did not provide a good training in political ethics. Their governments, British or Bourbon, were too bad for that. Few of the Irish Catholic bourgeoisie and few of the small body of Irish Catholic aristocrats emigrated to America. (The Emmets and the Mitchels, prominent in New York social life and politics at a high level, were not Catholic by origin.) What the Irish were expected to do was to provide top sergeants in the political army, at most. The result of this political role was not always edifying. Catholic Boss Croker was not much more honest, though much more intelligent, than Protestant Boss Tweed. Since municipal politics was often corrupt and since Catholics were so numerous in the lower echelons, understandably a great many Catholic politicians were grafters or tolcrators of graft. But one would have to know very little about the inner history of city and state politics to believe that only Catholics were grafters or that their religion bred their corruption. William Allen White made the proper distinction between the “governing class,” the politicians, many of them Catholics, and the “ruling class,” few of whom were Catholics. Both classes encouraged and profited by corruption. The ruling class profited more.

It was, of course, natural and right for Mugwumps to be angry with the Catholic local grafters, but if Henry Cabot Lodge and Theodore Roosevelt held their noses and voted for Blaine and bitterly resented the superior sensitiveness of the Mugwumps, why should a local Catholic politician, with no benefit of Harvard, be totally condemned for supporting a local and Catholic equivalent of Blaine? How many proper Bostonians remember Patrick Collins, a good mayor of Boston (as the late Edward Charming used to tell his Harvard classes.)? It is easier to remember that much more entertaining and probably more significant figure, James Michael Curley. With the name of Curley, we come to the crux of the Catholic question as it affects contemporary American politics, it is not only that there is a Catholic President (and Attorney General), but that there are nearly twenty Catholic governors, and that the leaders of both houses of Congress are Catholics. In some states, both senators are Catholic. Catholics are numerous in city halls, including the city halls of some of the greatest cities. The naive anticlerical in France would see the hand of the Jesuits in this. I am not quite convinced that there are not a great many American Protestants who think the same. And, of course, since Catholics are just about a fourth of the population, they are overrepresented. But it should be noted that they were elected, and, in nearly every state, necessarily by Protestant majorities.

What the sudden flood of Catholic politicians into office, culminating in the entry of a Catholic into the White House, represents is not a Jesuit conspiracy, but America’s coming of age, in a new sense. The great immigrant blocs of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are being assimilated, and this is reflected in the sphere where immigrant blocs have already made their claims to assimilation most effectively, in politics. It is not only the Catholics, it is also the Jews who benefit — and alarm. The last great immigrant group whose assimilation is far from complete is overwhelmingly Protestant, the Negroes.

Some of the old suspicions have been diminished by the Kennedy Administration. Some are silly. Moreover, it is something in a country like tiie United States (less so than in England) that the Catholic President went to a good Protestant school and not to a good Catholic school and college — to Choate and Harvard, and not, lor example, to Canterbury and Georgetown. President Kennedy is not a product of the Fulton Street Fish Market, like Al Smith, nor is Mrs. Kennedy as shocking a chatelaine of the White House as the nervous clubwomen of 1928 thought Mrs. Al Smith would be. The Catholic Church in America has come out of the catacombs. It is in every way more respectable intellectually, socially, and economically than it was even when Al Smith ran. The decline in immigration has relieved the Church of what was its most important task, keeping and training the immigrants. This was a kind of training that only the Catholic Church could have given. That role is over: the immigrants are now Americans; they are much more at ease than they were in Al Smith’s time.

It would be idle to pretend that American Catholics are totally mature, politically speaking. They are very American in their willingness to believe in conspiracies. Thus, the late Joseph McCarthy was not much admired in his ancestral country, but he found supporters among American Catholics. Many American Catholics believed, like many French Catholics at the time of the Dreyfus case, that the enemy of my enemy is necessarily a friend. But from the beginning the two chief organs of the Catholic intellectuals, America, run by the Jesuits, and the Commonweal, run by laymen, were vigorous, courageous, and acute critics of the Wisconsin demagogue. That Catholics have no monopoly on this kind of folly, Mr. Welch has shown us. And it could be argued that since it was inevitable that some demagogue would capture the lunatic fringe ol frustrated Americans, it was just as well it should be the disreputable Catholic ex-Democrat rather than a sound teetotal Baptist.

In other ways the Catholic community is now at home. Its most important groups, the Germans and the Irish, are not in any reasonable sense of the term recent immigrants. Probably more than half of the genes of the present American population come from nineteenth-century immigrants. And Joseph P. Kennedy has reasonably complained about being constantly described as an Irishman, and has asked why he isn’t occasionally called an American. The reason is that he is a Catholic. The Kennedys are no more of new immigrant stock than were the families of Woodrow Wilson and Charles Evans Hughes in 1916. But they were Protestants: there’s the rub.

SHOULD there be a rub? There will, I am convinced. be many rubs, and there should be some. No American Catholic can give that unlimited adherence to Caesar that hundred-percent American patriotism too often asks for; too often, because I do not believe any Christian can worship Divus Caesar as some of the more noisy, flagwaving, oath-imposing Americans would seem to think is right. The United States, for a Christian, is really under God; that means that God need not approve of all, or even of most, of what the United States does. A deeply conscientious Catholic converted, say, by the English Dominican Gerald Vann to the belief that an atomic war would be a sinful war would be in an ambiguous position as President (and Commander in Chief). Christians have always thought that holding civil office had its special moral dangers. The Catholic politician is no worse off than the deeply believing Protestant Christian.

But in the American context he is worse off than a Protestant. It is not that I really expect that the medieval controversies over the two swords are going to be revived. No Pope in his right mind will stress all the doctrines of the more extreme canonists. But there are possible dangers of rifts between Catholic politicians, especially in the federal government, and the hierarchy. There are minor grounds of friction. The freedom of American foreign policy might be limited by uncritical and unrealistic anti-Communism. There is nothing surprising and wrong in violent anti-Communism among American Catholics, especially among Catholics of Irish origin. Jews were not asked to think kindly of Hitler (they are not asked to think critically of Israel). But an innocent blackand-white view of the external world might be a nuisance. 1 do not think it more than that.

There are two topics, however, which, on the local level in one instance and on the national level in the other, will perplex any Catholic officeholder who has — and knows he has — to steer between what would please the more vociferous bishops and the mass of Protestants. One, the attempted ban on contraception, is much more a source of irritation than of permanent grievance, but it irritates non-Catholic Americans even more than the imposition of Protestant Manichaean views on liquor did. But contraception is not so serious a question as the schools are. No one knows how effective the ban on contraception is, except in the most devout Catholic households, and there are some Protestants who share Catholic dislike of contraception. A Catholic politician can dodge the problem of contraception. He cannot dodge the schools question, specifically the question of federal aid to parochial schools.

For here the Church is not demanding something negative; it is demanding positive action from Catholic politicians, including the President of the United States. And it is running into two very formidable forces. The first is the beliel that a nondenominational system of public education is part of the American way of life, one of the most sacred parts of that way of life. Whether this tradition is as old as the Supreme Court seems to think is doubtful, but, as the Dred Scott case shows, the Court has never been very sound on history. But that is neither here nor there; the wall of separation has been erected. What does a Catholic President do, what does a Catholic senator do, when an attempt is made to breach the wall? I may say, as a foreigner, that the case is not so open and shut on either side as controversialists think. How seldom in these debates or quarrels is any foreign experience called on, say the experience of the Netherlands or Scotland. Politicians with a big Catholic vote will be under great pressure to act one way; politicians with a big Baptist vote will be under great pressure to vote another. I do not see how some, and possibly bitter, conflict is to be avoided. And I do not mean only or mainly controversy between Catholics and Protestants. It will be a different quarrel. It will be a quarrel between bishops and politicians who think that a battle in which the Catholic Church stands as an obstacle to what, more and more, the great industrial states will want and need, federal aid to education, will be disastrous. The politician will want to avoid quarreling with the bishops, and he will want to avoid quarreling with the voters. And the contemporary Catholic officeholder will differ from the old-time ward leader (who was the representative Catholic politician even a generation ago) in two important ways. First of all, he will often not be a product of the Irish tradition at all. He may have only a modified respect for the political judgment of bishops; he may have no respect at all. Governor DiSalle (and Senator Lausche) of Ohio has a different background from A1 Smith’s or David I. Walsh’s. So has Senator Pastore of Rhode Island; so has Governor Rosellini of Washington.

Then, probably more important, American Catholics have now a large, growing, wealthy middle class. Even if the male members have gone to Catholic schools from kindergarten to college, they have had a less restricted access to the Protestant world than have priests brought up in parochial schools and in seminaries sheltered from the heretical world, brought up in what a leading Catholic friend of mine calls “the Catholic ghetto.” In many things in the future, the spokesmen of the Catholic community (as apart from the Catholic Church) will be laymen who may or may not be politicians. If they are politicians, they will have more worldly wisdom and probably more independence than their predecessors had. They will not denounce Harvard as that “Kremlin on the Charles.” They have doubts about Catholic education at all levels and may not want to commit the Church to a losing battle. There will be no AI Smith or Commissioner Murphy again. And Mayor Daley of Chicago and Governor Lawrence of Pennsylvania compare favorably with some not very remote Protestant predecessors.

The growth of the Catholic middle class and the slower but visible growth of a Catholic intelligentsia will alter the picture of the Catholic in politics, of the Catholic officeholder. What have the late Frank Murphy of the Supreme Court and Justice Brennan of the Supreme Court in common? What has either in common with the late Judge Martin J. Man ton, who tried in vain to save America from Ulysses before going to jail for corruption? The Catholic officeholder, the Catholic active in politics, will be seen more and more as a representative American of an accepted minority group. With the rise of the intellectual quality and prestige of American Catholicism, a Catholic will no longer be regarded as ipso facto the victim of a dying superstition. Perhaps the bishops will take the advice given by Judge John M. Murtagh not to expect the state to be a force for sanctity or even a force for punishing sin. Perhaps even Southern Baptists will learn that they and the papists have a common enemy and that, in America, the enemy is not so much atheistic Communism as a great deal of the American way of life which insists that gaining the whole world is saving one’s soul. Nothing will make the role of the Catholic politician, especially the officeholder, easy in a Protestant country. It is not easy in a Catholic country, not even in Ireland.